Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in King's Cross
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our King's Cross 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a King's Cross conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last King's Cross conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I own a leasehold house in King's Cross. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in King's Cross who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a King's Cross conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am looking at a couple of flats in King's Cross both have about fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in King's Cross is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with King's Cross conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in King's Cross. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a King's Cross conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a King's Cross conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non King's Cross conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Following years of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in King's Cross. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the price.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a King's Cross flat is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 66.8 years.